Closely Related Mating: Pros and Cons

The concept of “inbreeding” usually causes pet owners, if not unequivocal rejection, then at least a sense of anxiety, a subconsciously negative feeling.

3990985751_7ca0769f15_zMost likely, it is not unfounded, and notoriety is not for nothing fixed for this methodic technique. But for some reason it is used in animal husbandry.

What are their goals? Who are these people who use incest: adventurers from science; frivolous Amateurs who blindly follow the fashion trends; experienced breeders who own a subtle biological tool and get unique results?

Let’s try to pull back the veil of this mystery.

Types of inbreeding

  • They are determined by the degree of kinship in which the parent pair of animals consists:
  • Close inbreeding.
  • At the same time, children and parents, relatives and cousins are mated;
  • Close inbreeding.
  • Grandparents and grandchildren are used as a parent pair;
  • Moderate and remote.
  • Relatives with a greater distance between generations are crossed.

Inbreeding is not a mutation

  • At various times, whole breeds of farm animals were created using closely related mating: sheep, cows, and pigs. And this was not always accompanied by negative phenomena.
  • In contrast, inbred animals were often enviably better off than their normal counterparts in terms of health and productivity.
  • In dog breeding, the best breeders were obtained from inbred litters: English setter Daisy I, Italian cane Corso Byron.
  • To predict the end result, you can rely on one main postulate: inbreeding itself does not create harmful mutations.
  • It does not create anything new at all, only summing up the genetic information from the mother’s side and the father’s side and translating it into a doubled state in the descendants.

Negative manifestations of incest

  • Its negative aspects are called the General concept of “inbred depression”. Meanwhile, it combines quite specific processes that occur in the animal’s body:
  • Deterioration of the General condition;
  • Disorders of internal organs and their systems;
  • Decrease in productivity (farm animals), activity of the body as a whole;
  • Birth of babies with hereditary diseases;
  • Fetal death at different stages of development.
  • The main reason for all these phenomena is the same heredity of relatives who mate with each other.
  • Each of them separately is an ordinary healthy animal: hidden lethal or semi-lethal genes are in a single set, not showing up in any way and not causing physiological abnormalities.
  • And only by passing on this “time bomb” to their descendants, parents-relatives “combine their capital”, translating negative hereditary information into a double state. It goes from hidden to explicit.


Positive aspects of inbreeding

  • But there is a silver lining: lethal genes that cause sharp deviations in animal health are not so common.
  • Factors that encode a tendency to hereditary diseases that are incompatible with life do not necessarily have to be present in the genotype of each of the close relatives.
  • On the contrary, more often they contain genes that are responsible for high immunity and outstanding qualities inherent in animals of specific breeds.
  • After all, it is in this direction that they are improved, selecting the best. In this case, using closely related mating, breeders double these “achievements” of each parent in their offspring.
  • This is what the creators of new lines of domestic and farm animals base their strategy on.
  • Among the latest positive results is the creation of inbred pig lines, in which only the closest inbreeding – incest-is used for five to seven generations.
  • Only parents with children and granddaughters with grandfathers mate.
  • There are no extremely negative manifestations: strict selection in previous generations removed the main part of harmful genes from the population.
  • Crossing inbred hybrids with non-inbred animals produces offspring that dramatically outperform their parents in all indicators of viability. Such Champions have no price!

The creation of inbred lines

  • In the usual practice of breeding Pets, it is not necessary to resort to extreme measures, using incest.
  • But this is really the shortest way to success in improving exactly multi-breeding animals: dogs, cats.
  • With a bold approach, incest is used to permanently clear the line of harmful genes.
  • A certain part of the descendants together with them permanently “leaves” the group, freeing it from the genetic burden. The remaining healthy animals are a “Golden Fund” that has no equal: their parents – relatives provided them with a double reserve of strength, energy, and outstanding qualities.
  • Indeed, it is a difficult dream for any breeder to work with a group of animals that is known to be free from the risk of genetic diseases.
  • Freely breed Pets that from generation to generation please with their harmony and health. Such an interesting and intriguing task is quite up to the brave creative people.